Edward Jenner (Pocket Giants)
Edward Jenner is a giant of modern medicine. Throughout history, smallpox had plagued humanity with disfigurement, blindness, and death. It was an incurable blight, the suffering of which Jenner helped bring to an end. Surmising from the immunity of milkmaids that cowpox might be some defence against the ravages of smallpox, in 1793 he took some of the matter from a human case of cowpox and inserted it into the arms of a young boy. To test this, the first human-to-human vaccination, he subsequently inoculated the boy with smallpox itself, and found him to be immune from the disease. In 1979 smallpox was declared extinct. This is the story of Jenner's life, his medical vision, and his profound legacy. That legacy encompasses revolutions in medical experimentation, public health provision, and the prevention of other diseases, from anthrax to measles.
Rob Boddice edited "Pain and Emotion in Modern History." He lives part time in Montreal.